Ladbrokes Reports 57 Percent Plunge In Third Quarter Earnings

But online operations continue to deliver a positive performance

UK land and online gambling group Ladbrokes plc posted its third quarter results Thursday, reporting a 57 percent decline in earnings before interest and tax to GBP 14.3 million pounds, as the British government tightened regulation and ramped up taxation in the gambling sector.
Management acknowledged that EBITDA was less than half the GBP 33 million achieved last year in the same period, but noted this reflected investment in a turnaround plan launched earlier this year.
The company reported major marketing expenses in a new push for business, and reported that its digital division third quarter revenue was up 6.4 percent, with the company's multi-channel strategy developing well. Mobile bets were up 69 percent by value, slightly ahead of the first half equivalent.
Ladbrokes is in the process of completing a GBP 2.3 billion pound merger with Gala Coral, partly aimed at boosting its presence online.
Chief executive Jim Mullen said: "These numbers reflect the first 68 days of activity since we announced our organic plan to aggressively invest and grow our recreational and multi-channel customer base particularly across UK retail, Ladbrokes.com and Ladbrokes Australia.
"It is early in our journey, but today's results reflect positive initial progress. The focus now is on building on this start; our people are responding to this challenge and we are committed to taking whatever steps necessary to keep this focus.
"With sports betting at our core, we see customers responding well to our products, our value and to our recently launched multi-channel offer," said Mullen.
Revenue from the bookmaker's UK retail business declined 1 percent as the company reported eight more shop closures in the reporting period.

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